Distribution and use of electricity throughout the home. Electrical standards vary greatly worldwide, so providing your location in your question or your profile helps ensure you get answers that are relevant to you.

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9
votes
1answer
894 views

Can cable splice devices be concealed?

Devices exist that claim to be able to splice nonmetallic sheathed cables together outside of a box, and in concealed locations. Are these types of devices allowed by National Electrical Code? Here's ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Why am I getting strange results when using a power meter to measure CFLs?

Over the years we have replaced just about every bulb in the house with a CFL. But here is the problem. Our electric bill is going up and not down. When I moved here 3 years ago we spent about ...
7
votes
5answers
68k views

Can different gauge wiring be used in the same circuit?

I am extending a lighting and outlet circuit in a basement. The current setup has the following characteristics 15 amp. circuit breaker (200 amp service) 4 existing lighting fixtures using CFL bulbs ...
7
votes
5answers
11k views

What could be causing AFCI breaker and GFCI receptacle nuisance tripping?

I have a very unusual set of electrical issues that have proven difficult to troubleshoot. I live in a newly constructed house. Each bedroom has AFCI breakers. In the past 3 years living there, the ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Any reason not to ground the sheathing of MX wire?

Having recently bought an older house (c1943) I am doing a little work on the place. While rewiring a light switch I noted that there is newer Romex wiring from the distribution panel to the switch, ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I extend a wall outlet?

I have a interior brick wall, with wall outlet in it, I am covering the wall with 1/2" sheet rock. But I am ancoring 1x2's on the brick so I can hang the sheetrock. How would I extend the wall outlet ...
4
votes
4answers
28k views

Can I safely ground a light fixture if the ceiling box has two hot and one neutral wire (no ground wire)

Checking for dupes, I saw this question, but the situation appears different as my box is metal, among other things. I'm fairly new to electrical projects, so bear with me. I recently installed a new ...
4
votes
1answer
7k views

Convert line voltage heating system to use low voltage thermostats

I currently have two line voltage ceiling radiant heating systems in my condo each with their own DPST thermostat. I'd like to use low voltage thermostats such as the nest. I found this ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

How can I diagnose disturbing voltage potentials?

Earlier today, I read Acceptable ground to neutral voltage?, and thought it'd be fun to stick my multimeter in the socket and have a voltage to report back. Neutral to ground read 60 volts. My head ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

Hooking up a 50A hot tub breaker to a 60A subpanel

I am considering adding a hot tub to my backyard. Most of the ones I've seen require a 240v 50A breaker, presumably with #6 4-wire. It would be most convenient to run the line for this from my ...
3
votes
3answers
30k views

How to properly ground a subpanel in detached building?

I Will be installing a subpanel in a detached garage. The subpanel will be 60 amp. The garage is about 30' from the main-panel in-house, and I will of course get an exact length before selecting the ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

When wiring a switch loop, which wire is which?

If you're wiring up a lighting circuit, where the power enters at the lighting outlet. According to the National Electrical Code, which wire should be "hot" and which should be "switched hot"? ...
3
votes
1answer
9k views

How can I get a standby generator with GFI to work with a 2-pole transfer switch?

I have a home standby generator that is equipped with a GFI, and my original electrician (who has long since flaked out on me leaving me in a lurch with this) installed a standard 2-pole transfer ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

How to connect two dimmers to control two sets of lights independently

I have just moved to Germany, and have a room with a double-gang system. The lower is a rotary dimmer which controls the lights in the kitchen, and the upper is a double rocker switch that simply ...
2
votes
4answers
246 views

Why are all of my appliances becoming energized when ground wire is excluded?

I live in Australia, with three-prong 240v power supply including ground prong. I own a simple plug adapter that does not include the ground connection. As far as I'm aware, using any appliance with ...
2
votes
2answers
31k views

Ceilling light wont switch off after a new installation

I have bought a new ceiling light to replace an old-fashioned one. I have 3 grey cables hanging from the ceiling: 3 red wires connected together and 3 green wires connected together and 3 black but ...
1
vote
1answer
175 views

How do I determine what size Generator I need?

What are the number of factors and considerations to be taken into account before sizing a prime rated generator ??
14
votes
6answers
12k views

What is the right way to strip power wires?

I've been working with electrical circuits as a DIYer for years, including electronics and powerline work. But one thing I always feel like I do a terrible job at is stripping wires: both the outside ...
11
votes
3answers
22k views

What is electrical code for number of wires in a breaker?

US, Georgia I am adding some new ciruits to add some additional outlets. The closest place is to run a wire to the main panel box. My question is, can I connect more than one wire to a breaker and ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this drill guide/template used when fixing electrical sockets called and where do I buy one?

My dad used to have one, you use it as a drill guide/template when fixing electrical sockets, but I cannot find anywhere that sells them, and as I don't know the name Google is not much help! ...
9
votes
4answers
41k views

How do I troubleshoot power receptacles?

I just bought a recently renovated house and the house inspector said that all the plugs in the basement worked. Well... I plugged in several devices into the plugs and they don't power on. If I use ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

Why do my bulbs glow brighter when the microwave is running?

When I run the microwave oven in my rented apartment, the incandescent lights nearby glow much brighter. What sort of mis-wiring could cause this? EDIT: Suspecting a bad neutral connection, I ...
7
votes
3answers
10k views

Does turning circuit breakers off cause wear?

A comment over on another SE got me thinking. With screw-in fuses, unscrewing it and then later screwing it back in causes negligible wear on either part of the installation. But what about modern ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Is a negative reading from a non-contact voltage detector sufficient?

I'm a beginner at doing electrical work, and I want to make sure I'm not taking unnecessary risks. Let's say that I'm preparing to work on some wiring. I have a non-contact voltage detector that ...
7
votes
1answer
24k views

Why doesn't my GFI receptacle reset?

I have a GFI receptacle in my kitchen that feeds four other receptacles. It tripped the other day and I cannot get it to reset. All of the other receptables on the circuit are not functioning which ...
7
votes
8answers
11k views

How is it that two breaker switches control the same things?

Forewarning: I don't know that much about electrical terms, so please excuse any mistakes I've possibly made. I recently moved the TV in my living room and ran a new line for the electricity to the ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

What should I do with a double gang box if I no longer need two separate switches?

We're relocating our TV to a side of our living room that has a power outlet controlled by a wall switch. The switch is part of a double gang box (1 switch controls the porch light, the other ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

Why does my GFCI outlet trip as soon as the breaker is turned on?

I have an outlet feeding other outlets about 50 feet away. All the outlets are outdoor enclosed in a protective weather cover. Today I wanted to replace one of the receptacles with a GFCI so all the ...
6
votes
2answers
731 views

How do I troubleshoot noisy power lines for power-line networking?

I have some power-line ethernet adaptors that worked great in my previous house. At my new house, they can't get more than a few KB per second because there's too much noise in the line according to ...
5
votes
3answers
773 views

What is the explicit difference between the ground and neutral wire in 110V systems?

So, I've put in or replaced several outlets following wiring instructions online and in the box. Nothing big. I know that if I fail to turn off the breaker then I shouldn't directly touch the black ...
5
votes
7answers
5k views

Why will 26 1.2W 220V LED lights not work with an 800W inverter?

We live off the grid and have just installed 26 220V 1.2W LED lights. We are using 220V as the batteries are some way from the house and and thick copper wire is expensive. Everything works on the ...
5
votes
2answers
63k views

How do I extend outlets after installing a backsplash?

I have installed a back splash in my kitchen, if I use the plastic spacers how many should I use or is there a limit? I understand that this can cause to much air space around the receptacle or light ...
5
votes
1answer
12k views

How do I wire a duplex outlet from a switch/outlet combo?

The power comes first through a switch/outlet combo and I need to it take further down to a duplex outlet. The switch will control half the outlet and the other half will always be hot. This is ...
5
votes
5answers
15k views

Is this an adequate junction box wire job using a standard electric box? (pic included)

I needed to splice a wire to repair nicked wire insulation, but I didn't feel like running to Lowe's just for a junction box. Instead, I used a regular electrical box. The wire comes up from the ...
4
votes
4answers
143 views

Does it cost more to run a refrigerator on an extension cord?

My new mini refrigerator is plugged into a 50 ft extension cord that is plugged into my house. Does it cost more to run because of the cord?
4
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I wire this three-way circuit between two buildings with only 3 conductors?

I am rewiring my entire house after a major malfunction of two antique knob and tube circuits. I'm up against a challenge with some outdoor lights. Here's the situation: I have a detached garage. It ...
4
votes
3answers
51k views

Is a ground required when replacing an old single pole single throw switch?

I need to replace a switch that controls a single light source in a bathroom. The switch has two wires connected to it. I bought a replacement switch that has two screws (one for each wire), and a ...
4
votes
1answer
18k views

How to tell if a ceiling junction box is braced to hold the weight of a ceiling fan?

My new home is almost done being built, and one of the extras I asked for was for two of the rooms to have junction boxes in the ceiling suitable for hanging a ceiling fan in the future. The light ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Do open-back low voltage boxes have advantages over standard outlet boxes?

I will be running LV wiring in new construction. I've seen the open backed Carlon boxes, but have read that they are difficult to insulate, and therefore should not be used on exterior walls. I ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

Why would a circuit breaker not trip if I accidentally shorted hot to neutral?

I am installing a set of recessed lights in a closet, replacing the existing fixtures one at a time. I removed power to the lights while installing each one by using the light switch, not the circuit ...
3
votes
1answer
9k views

Why am I measuring 16 volts on a wire that should be at 0 volts?

I am replacing a power receptacle at my apartment. It has the standard four wires, with one of the two reds going to a nearby toggle switch. I am concerned because when the toggle switch is off, I ...
3
votes
4answers
7k views

How can I verify that the protective earth/ground is separate from the neutral wire in an electrical AC installation?

It's easy to verify which wire is the phase without relying on wire colors. But I'm not sure if I'm able to determine which wire is the ground and which is the neutral. I have heard that using a ...
3
votes
4answers
41k views

Can two circuits share a neutral?

I'm finally implementing the advice given in this question, I've managed to run the wiring up to the junction box, but I'm a bit confused by the contents of that box. There are three circuits ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Term to describe two circuits run through one /3 cable

For example, I have a 12/3 cable in which the red and black wires are controlled via separate breakers. The 12/3 drops into a single-gang outlet, out of which runs a 12/2 to another room. Is there a ...
2
votes
1answer
250 views

Why would two regular outlets stop working after I replaced GFCI outlets?

I replaced to gfci outlets and they are working fine, but two outlets on the same wall that are regular stopped working and are not receiving electricity. I checked and checked to see if I did the ...
2
votes
2answers
428 views

How should I connect a grounding wire from a device to this box?

I'm replacing this simple 2-connector light switch with a 4-wire dimmer. The 2 new wires present on the dimmer are neutral and ground, and only neutral has an obvious home. The box has no visible ...
2
votes
3answers
329 views

Do receptacles require a 20 ampere breaker?

I thought wall recepticles required a 20 amp breaker. Am I wrong?
2
votes
3answers
7k views

2 prong to 3 prong outlet help

I don't know too much about replacing outlets, only what I've read online or through YouTube videos. The house was built in the early 50s. Some outlets have been replaced (brand new kitchen) but some ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Suitability of flexible metallic conduit serving as ground

EDIT: The attached photo is the most easily accessible example of the conduit used in the entire house. This shows the conduit attached to the garbage disposal with the previously mentioned 3/4 set ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What gauge wire is needed to feed a 70 ampere panel 300 ft. away?

What gauge of wire do I need for direct burial for a 300 ft run for a 70 amp subpanel? I am going to install a 50 amp plug for a 5th wheel and eventually add some lights to a green house about 70 ...